On Moving Payments When Editing Leases

Jason M. wrote in with a question that we get fairly often:

Why is it necessary to "move" payments when adjusting lease payment schedule? You need to make a slew of adjustments for such a simple task in order to renew a lease for an additional year that may be expiring?

Since this is an excellent question and the answer would obviously be of value to all of our customers, we thought we'd turn it into a blog post:

 

With regard to moving payments, it's a bit tricky, but here goes:  when you save a new lease, it's far too complicated and space consuming to store a huge list of due dates in our database (eg twelve due dates for one year X the number of leases per user X the number of customers we have) - so we don't directly point payments to due dates, at least as far as normal database practices (foreign key relationships, etc.) go.  What we do store in the lease record is the start date, end date, and how the lease recurs - monthly, weekly, etc. - and from that, we're able to calculate at any time what your due dates for payments are.  When you collect a payment, we show the list of due dates at that time, based on the current settings for the lease.  So you save a payment, and it gets flagged for a specific due date.

 

The trouble arises, however, when you make a change to the lease that might break due dates.  If you're just extending time to a lease, you're essentially just adding due dates - so in this case, you're right - no payments need to be moved at all.  If you're radically changing the terms of the lease however, some of the existing payments might point to due dates that no longer exist - basically they've been orphaned.

 

So what we try to do is say "hey, looks like you've changed the lease - do you need to move some existing payments to point to new due dates?" - just to keep things straight in your data.  The system isn't (yet anyways) smart enough to know that your changes might not have been a big deal, or that you're not altering any past due dates, only adding new ones - that's something that could be improved upon to minimize the occurrence of that popup appearing - because I do admit, it is sort of disconcerting to see that "hey, your data might be messed up" - when 95% of the time that's not the case. 

 

Short Answer: most of the time this popup will not be applicable - usually you'd only need it if you're drastically changing the terms and dates on the lease, not when you're extending it.  If you're doing that though (changing the lease significantly), we'd recommend closing/deleting the lease and creating a new one for that tenant and property - it's probably less hassle, and keeps everything cleaner from a data perspective anyways.

 

Thanks to Jason for being a great customer and a smart, eager user of 123Landlord - keep the questions and kind feedback coming!